My very first reaction was to try to re-start the car and move it out of the way of other vehicles. Of course the front of the car had been totally destroyed so that was a non-starter. A split second later I turned to my wife, asked if she was okay and said get out of the car and get straight to the side of the road. She was in shock (as was I) but it took her valuable seconds to respond whereas I was lucky enough to keep moving.
Thanks for the great example!
This is very important to understand when talking about methodology.
We train and develop habits for driving cars daily for what is considered "normal tolerances". As long as we operate within those parameters our driving techniques can be very effective.
However, once we incur new conditions and parameters (as in your wreck example), then we end up with dissonance as you experienced when you tried to move a car with no front end on it.
I have talked to many of my fellow soldiers about the firefight/combat situations they have been in...they always experience the same thing...that is, they do things out of habit...somethings right, somethings wrong...but it is always the same conversation and experience as above.
This is important when you start talking about Self Defense or violent encounters.
"effectiveness" really is a interesting word.
It is not that our training is wrong or bad...most of what I have experienced is very good....PRINCIPALLY.
However, if you don't replicate the environmental conditions and practice in as close as possible stress, pressure, system overload...then you will not find your weaknesses and develop ways to mitigate them or develop new habits.
In reality Dissonance I think will always occur. However, I think there is much we can do to reduce it if we train properly.
If you are going to train women how to deal with the realities of violent rape, well then you need to find a 200lb guy to get up close and personal.
I personally do not feel 100% qualified to do this. Lots of pyschological issues and what not to deal with as you push people way outside of their comfort zone and maybe even cause them to re-live old traumas.
Teaching the old "high heel to the foot, kick to the balls" is okay...but it really does not completely address or prepare women for the full spectrum that will be presented in reality.
However, I think at the same time, we owe it to our students to be very honest in what we are really training them to do and exactly what the weaknesses are in their training so if they choose to go down that path, then they do so in a more infomed way.
I do though think that if someone is serious about preparing themselves to deal with this stuff that they can do so. AND I do believe that AIkido type training, done properly is a very important part of that process.
It is not, however, a quick seminar process, or a RBSD DVD solution.
It requires a multi-faceted, and a long term committment to really reach a level of understanding and training.